WASHINGTON, D.C. (WMBD) — A central Illinois Congressman is starting out his freshman term.

Democratic Congressman Eric Sorensen (IL-17) took the place of former Congressman Cheri Bustos, who stepped away from Congress.

Sorensen is a long-time Illinois weather broadcaster and climate change activist. He’s told WMBD multiple times this is knowledge he hopes to bring with him to Congress.

Rep. Sorensen joined WMBD’s Matt Sheehan for On the Record this week. The segment aired on WMBD This Morning Thursday. He said one of his major focuses right now is figuring out what to do about the debt ceiling.

“We have to make sure, as we look forward at the debt ceiling debate, that we don’t default on our promises to pay our debts. That we don’t cut Medicare and Social Security. We have to understand that just last year, and in the 117th Congress, the debt was decreased by $1.7 trillion. So we have lowered our obligations, but we have to also understand that when we talk about the debt ceiling, this is talking about real people,” Rep. Sorensen said. “There are consequences to what happens. We have to make sure that the hard-working people, not only in our District but across the country, aren’t paying the burden for the lack of solutions within Congress. That people aren’t being burdened by the political inaction of Congress. So I’ll be standing up with the people of our District for what they need.”

Congressman George Santos (R-New York) is under an ethics probe and criminal investigation for potential misuse of campaign funds and lying on his resume. Congressman Sorensen has been vocal about this matter, Tweeting that he didn’t understand why Rep. Santos would be selected for Congressional committees, let alone stay in Congress.

“I can speak on behalf of the election that we had. I had earned the trust of the people that I now serve. I did that through 20 years of being a public person. The people here understand who I am. They understand I’m fighting for them. And they understood that when they went to the ballot box. They voted for their trusted neighbor,” Sorensen said. “It concerns me deeply, that we now have someone in Congress, who cannot be trusted. He’s not trusted by either side of the aisle. That concerns me. Because if we let that continue, it just opens the door for other fraudsters to be given a place in our government. I am upset that he was given places and seats on committees. Because I don’t believe he has earned the trust of the people he represents.”

Multiple top government officials are being investigated for having classified documents in their homes. President Trump, President Biden, and now Former Vice President Mike Pence are on this list. Congressman Sorensen hopes these investigations enact change moving forward.

“There’s a difference going on. The former President did not want to give up the classified information he had in his home. This is apples and oranges, as far as I’m concerned. But it does shed light on the fact that we need to make sure that the most sensitive documents are kept secure,” Rep. Sorensen said.

Next week On the Record, hear from Secretary of State (D-Illinois) Alexi Giannoulias.